My little one has been teething and exceptionally clingy these past couple of days, which led me to thinking a lot on motherhood. It is very difficult to get things done when you have a toddler wrapped around your legs and wanting to be in your arms 24/7. Motherhood is definitely not for the faint of heart and doesn't ever go exactly as planned. I think a lot of times we moms are in survival mode instead of thrive mode.
Survival mode is optional and a choice. You can thrive exactly where you are and be the mom you want to be. Survival mode in motherhood could be defined as stress, not getting enough done, never getting ahead, your kids are driving you crazy, or you fill in the blank. We know when we are not thriving, but barely getting by. Here are a couple of things to help you get past mom survival mode and avoid it in the future.
This is huge because your perspective determines your attitude. We all know that attitude can make or break you. This is a quote that really helps keeps me in the correct perspective.
As a mompreneur, I must remember that my business will always come after my husband and children. Getting an article written is not as important as speaking love into the life of my little one. Rocking my baby to sleep, playing in the mud, and dancing in the rain are more important than making money. Why? Because I investing in a life and what I do now, will forever effect my little ones. Their emotional stability, love of learning, manners, physical development and all around well being is influenced by me.
God gave children mammas to teach and train them and enrich their lives. When we realize that this is most important, it will help us to slow down and get our priorities straight.
This would be another huge cause in sending us into survival mode. We women in general expect too much ourselves. There is no such thing as a super mom. Always remember when you feel the need to compare or get intimidated by another mom's success, that everyone has different priorities. Yes, this mom may be the queen of doing fun stuff with her children, but her house may look like a tornado blew through it. Another mom may have her children in every activity imaginable and seem to have it all in order, but her family eats fast food or prepared box food for every meal. None of these are wrong, the point is that in order to be amazing at one thing, you have to give up another.
Stop driving yourself crazy trying to do everything and be everything. I am coming to terms with this more and more. I appreciate a clean, tidy house, and I do my best to keep it that way. On the other hand, my house would never pass the white glove test or be named the Martha Steward House of the Year. I am fine with that. As long as everything is basically tidy and in order, I'm good. There are always fingerprints on my windows and footprints on my floors, and I don't care. One day, I will have a perfectly clean home, and I will miss those little hand prints.
The above picture is my son's little footprints on my freshly mopped laminate flooring. :) Precious
3. Season of Life
This really is more of a sub point of expectations, but it has enough information to be a point of its own. This lesson is indelibly printed in my mind because I learned it the hard way. When I was pregnant, I was young and thought I should be able to carry on with life as if my body wasn't going through a huge change. I continued life as normal, doing everything I did before, until one day I woke up in extreme pain. Long story short, I found out that if I continued to expect myself to carry one like before, I could very possibly lose my baby. Almost losing my baby because of my foolishness was a big wake up call for me to enjoy my current season of pregnancy.
Mom's slip into survival mode because they are trying to live in a different season of life than the one they are currently in. When you are a mom of littles, your life is full of the mundane: changing diapers, nursing or feeding your little one, house work, cleaning up spills and messes, and consistent training. This is a lot and very taxing and can become very annoying.
If you are in this stage of life, I challenge you to find another mom in the same stage and get together. Invite her over just for some mom time. If possible, get someone to watch your kids while you get out for awhile by yourself. If none of these are possible, try to create some time for yourself, where you surround yourself with things you love. This may be a cup of coffee, a book,and a comfy chair. Something that helps you relax and refreshes your spirit.
A lot of frustration comes when we try to live outside the season we are in instead of embracing it. You don't have a lot of time and energy when you have a house full of littles, so make sure you are not over extending yourself. This is not the time to be involved in every activity or saying yes to every project.
If you are a new mamma, take the time to relax in bed with your little one. Who cares, if you stay in bed til noon with your baby and toddler watching cartoons. Remember, that at this stage, you are low on sleep and need extra rest. Don't condemn yourself for it, embrace it. This too shall pass. One day, you won't have this special time, so cherish it while you do.
More than anything, remember that your little one will day be a man, and you can't turn the clock backwards. I had to remind myself of this one a lot, these last couple of days. But when I held this precious bundle on my lap, looking down into blue eyes, I remembered that all too soon he would not need me. All too soon, he would be on his own and wouldn't want to be in my lap. So instead of worrying about sweeping the floor, I hugged him a little closer and just sat still. The floors aren't going anywhere, but my little one is growing like a weed.
4. Take the Time to Train
Sometimes we are in survival mode because have failed to take the time to train our children. Children, according to Proverbs, are a blessing. They are supposed to be refreshing and an enjoyment, but if we as moms, fail to train them to be so, we will live a crazy life.
When it comes to child training resources, my go to book after the Bible is Childwise, by Gary Ezzo. It is definitely an incredible book. I have proved his methods true time and time again. It is a very practical, step by step parenting book that teaches you how to train the heart of your child.
I can honestly say that through consistently applying his methods of training, I have a refreshing child. Although the key is consistency. Once I stop being consistent, my child stops being refreshing and a blessing. It is hard work to consistently train and teach, but it is well worth the end result.
5. Take some Time for You
Sometimes, all a mom needs is thirty minutes of quiet time to herself. This is especially true after a hectic day. Make a place in your house where you can surround yourself with your favorite things and let it be completely yours. It may be a corner of a couch or a chair, or your nightstand by your bed. You just need somewhere you can go to relax and refresh your spirit.
I love listening to songs, reading books, and talking to friends who inspire and encourage me to be a better mom. Whenever I am just having a really hard time being a happy mom, putting a couple songs on YouTube lifts my spirit and puts me back in perspective. Here are some of my favorite resources.
- Cherish the Moment
- Vision of a Mother's Heart
- A Song for Mothers
- The Ministry of Motherhood
- The Mission of Motherhood
These are some things that really help me get out of or avoid survival mode. What are some things that help you?